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McDonald’s Sued

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Seven former employees of a McDonald’s restaurant in
Northridge sued the company, alleging they were fired because they were over
40 years old.
The six women and one man filed suit Friday in Los Angeles Superior
Court against McDonald’s Restaurants of California Inc. The complaint alleges
age discrimination, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
In a statement,  McDonald’s spokesman Jesse Lopez wrote: “At McDonald’s
we pride ourselves in providing excellent employment opportunities for all of
our staff and crew members regardless of age, race, religion, sex or
disability.
“As this is a pending legal matter, it would be inappropriate for us to
respond at this time,” the statement continued.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were “hard-working
restaurant workers whose careers ended abruptly as part of their employer’s
deliberate and unlawful scheme to replace them with a substantially younger
workforce.”
The alleged plan to rid the Parthenia Street restaurant of older workers
began with the hiring of new manager Maria Contreras in 2012, the suit
alleges. She cut the hours of older workers and denied them the chance to take
their rest breaks on time, according to the lawsuit.
When Contreras’ alleged attempts to force the older workers to quit by
marginalizing them was not successful, she took advantage of a remodeling of
the restaurant that began in December 2013 to pursue her goals, the suit
states. She said selected younger employees would be transferred to other
McDonald’s restaurants during the renovation and that those who were not
selected could re-apply later at the Parthenia Street location, the suit
states.
“In the weeks leading up to the renovation, Contreras expressly
declared her intention to staff the Parthenia restaurant with a younger,
English-speaking workforce,” the suit states.
After the renovation, none of the plaintiffs were offered their old jobs
back, the suit alleges.
One plaintiff, 52-year-old Josefina Rosario Flores, began working at
McDonald’s in July 2003 and was a cook, drive-through employee and maintenance
worker, the suit states. After Flores — who was unmarried and supported
herself financially — asked Contreras to be one of those sent to another
restaurant while the Parthenia location was renovated, Contreras responded that
she only wanted “puro gente joven” — meaning only young people — and that
she “did not want old people to staff the Parthenia restaurant,” the suit
states.
Another plaintiff, 63-year-old Celia Zamora, was hired by McDonald’s in
March 1996 and worked in food preparation and cleaning, the suit states. She
had a “pristine disciplinary record” and was never written up during her time
with the company, the suit states.
However, Zamora also was not offered a transfer during the Parthenia
renovation nor was she rehired when it was completed, the suit states.
“Instead, McDonald’s would ultimately recognize Zamora’s loyalty and
many years of service by firing her,” the suit states.

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